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Old 01-19-2017, 10:14 AM   #1
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Staying warm (and cool)

My wife and I hope to be out there with you folks someday in the coming years. Until then, we are enjoying the research and preparations. Reading about the Loop first attracted me to the trawler scene and reminded me that I thought about sailing the loop as a kid when our 17' Whaler was a big boat.

We have always been land lubbers and as such have grown accustomed to certain things. Some are easier to trade on boat life than others. As we endure dreary day after dreary day here in the upper Midwest, heating and air conditioning are near the top of the list.

I appreciate that the well orchestrated Loop traveller will manage the pace to be in the right latitude during the right season, but each season has outliers and every boat I look at has heating and air conditioning systems. I work in the HVAC industry and understand how the equipment works, but as a couple who sees themselves spending most nights at anchor and few in marinas connected to shore power, I'm wondering how much our tolerance for varying "room temperature" needs grow?

So during days where the low is in the mid 40s and the high in the mid 70s, do you heat the boat at night? Does that mean a diesel heater running on 12 volts, or reverse cycle systems running on batteries, or did I miss the common approach?

And similarly, does the breeze keep the interior of a boat cool enough on days where the high approaches 90 and the low only dips into the upper 60s, or do you run air conditioning to keep the boat cool during the day?
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Old 01-19-2017, 10:26 AM   #2
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"So during days where the low is in the mid 40s and the high in the mid 70s, do you heat the boat at night?"

- It depends. If the water temp is still relatively warm (say 60s-70s) the residual heat from the day may be enough, particularly if it was sunny during the day (the amount a placement of windows on a boat can make a big difference during the day). If we get too cold, we start the generator and turn on the reverse cycle heat, which on our boat will work until the water hits about 40.

"And similarly, does the breeze keep the interior of a boat cool enough on days where the high approaches 90 and the low only dips into the upper 60s, or do you run air conditioning to keep the boat cool during the day?"

- Again, it depends. Humidity makes a big difference. That said, we generallly don't run the AC during the day, unless it is really hot (over 90) and humid. We do spend a lot of time in the water during the day, which certainly helps. Generally, if it is 90 and humidity isn't too bad, just a few sunshades on the windows and fans is enough during the day. At night, we do run the AC if it is hot and humid. If in the 60s-70s at night, we just keep the boat open and run a small fan, if necessary.
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Old 01-19-2017, 10:39 AM   #3
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Off the grid / on the hook heating, gravity fed diesel fired stoves and heaters consume no power. Here's just two of many:

http://dickinsonmarine.com/

Welcome to SigMarine.com - Marine Heaters & Stoves

RB
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Old 01-19-2017, 11:22 AM   #4
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Very cool. Feels like a very good argument for that type of diesel heat in northern climates, but I'm guessing not many boater in southern latitudes or Looper have them for cold nights?
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Old 01-19-2017, 11:37 AM   #5
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Greetings,
Mr. HTT. For the small amount heat is needed in southern climes, reverse cycle AC is more than sufficient. If looping, that's done in the summer where cold water inefficiencies really don't enter into the equation.
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Old 01-19-2017, 01:41 PM   #6
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Having done from NYC to the TN River section this year, here was our experience temperature wise. If you start through the Erie Canal in May, you will encounter some cold days and a couple there or on Lake Ontario or Lake Erie will be very harsh and definitely require heat but reverse cycle will be adequate for the occasional need. You'll encounter the same at the other end, depending on when you leave Chicago. We encountered a need for heat a couple of nights in Chicago, but more going down the Illinois and Mississippi and even on the Tennessee. However, we didn't leave Chicago until Oct 1 and most leave earlier. Still you'll need heat occasionally. We also went up the east coast in April and it was very cold.

As to A/C, that's a lot of what you're use to. We ran ours most days and many nights, but we're not use to opening windows and cooling by breezes and not running A/C. We sleep in rather cool rooms and hot and humid just doesn't work for us sleep wise. Others are less spoiled and addicted to air than we are. Mid July, Sandusky, Ohio, as an example, this past summer there were four days of 95 degrees or higher with lows between 75 and 80.

You used the right word in "outlier." Most of the loop due to the seasons is very moderate and comfortable. But there are definitely times you'll prefer heat or air. That is not to say though that you can't get by without them if you're the camping out type.
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Old 01-19-2017, 01:42 PM   #7
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If you don't want to run the generator all night to overcome chilly temperatures, an electric blanket works really well. Most boats will have a good size battery bank and inverter. The electric blanket draws very modest power. While they can be rated at over 200 watts, the duty cycle at a 60 degree room temperature is quite small. Traveling south from Maryland in January, it made nights on the hook with cabin temperatures in the 50s, very comfortable.

Ted
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